The Centre has denied permission to a 251-member Sikh delegation to visit Pakistan on the occasion of death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the ruler of the 19th-century Sikh empire, citing security reasons, the SGPC said Wednesday.The delegation, sponsored by the Shiromani GurdwaraParbandhak Committee (SGPC), was scheduled to visit Pakistan from June 21 to 29.
“The Centre has declined permission to the delegation to visit Pakistan due to security reasons,” SGPC secretary Harcharan Singh told PTI on Wednesday.
The Centre had informed the SGPC that if anyone wanted to visit Pakistan, then it should give an undertaking that the person was going there at one’s own risk to which the Sikh religious body did not agree, he said.
On being asked whether the neighbouring country was contemplating sending a train for the delegation up to theAttari-Wagha border, he said, “Permission was not given by theCentre. Therefore, there was no question of anybody going to Pakistan.”
Singh said some people were sent by a Ferozepur-based NGOto the Attari border to protest against the Centre’s decision.”But they were stopped by the police today ahead ofAttari. When the permission has been declined by the Centre, how can one go to Pakistan,” he said.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in Lahore on June 27, 1839.
Another delegation, which was to visit Pakistan last month for the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, was denied visa allegedly due to want of clearance from the Centre.